Managing a sales team in this environment requires some serious insight, insight beyond the scope of spreadsheets. Many sales managers complain that all they want to do is be able to answer simple questions:
Often, a simple answer to a simple question requires some serious effort. They need to look at the sales results in the context of financial performance, to examine the performance scores of individuals and compare them to their peers. They need to understand who is up to date with compliance and which marketing campaigns have been effective.
That sounds like an awful lot of work to me. What people really need is some way of doing all of that in just one place. That should allow them to look at any part of the business and see what factors are effecting it and how those factors impact performance. It would be useful if they could do it on their iPads between customer visits and reviews as well. That depth of information would free up precious time and allow them to focus on their core activities.
While that all sounds a bit too good to be true, it can be made a reality. The key is figuring out how to break down the complexity and look at the business as a whole - not in silos. It’s about finding ways to get that information out to the people who need it: quickly enough for them to act upon it.
Life in sales certainly isn’t easy and luck is a scarce resource. What is certain is the need to be agile with information. Responding faster to customers leads to higher sales.